Carleton University announced the creation of men’s and women’s curling teams in September, but with no funding available it was Centretown’s Rideau Curling Club that stepped in and offered free ice time, curling equipment, and help with fundraising.
“There are a limited amount of resources, so the board made a decision back in September to support these two teams and we’re very happy about it,” says Kevin Goheen, vice-president of the RCC board and manager of the men’s team.
The men held their first tryout on Oct. 14. Goheen said it was a success with 18 men showing up.
“We’re new but we’ve got so many provincial and national curlers we should compete very well,” says Goheen, a computer-engineering professor at Carleton.
Goheen and Lynn Kreviazuk, a third-year student at Carleton, have planned the team for almost a year.
“I’ve been curling for 14 years and I’ve tried to get a team in the past,” says Kreviazuk. “This year we were lucky enough to be approved.”
Kreviazuk says the process of applying for a team was not easy. With an athletic department already supporting 13 varsity teams and 11 competitive clubs, she had to make it clear they expected no money from Carleton.
It also required a rule change. The Ontario University Athletics changed its sports model so that curling teams no longer have to compete in a regular season leading up to the championships.
Now universities can simply enter a team.
Even after that, the athletics department had to see interest from more than just one student. That was when Kreviazuk and Goheen collaborated.
“I was sending e-mails to Carleton and I guess he was as well, so the university said ‘You both are trying to get a team together how about you work together,’ ” says Kreviazuk.
In the end, the teams were given the stamp of approval and curling finally became a competitive sport at Carleton University. The women had their first tryout last month.
“We have some very talented curlers,” says Doug Kreviazuk, head coach of the women’s team and Lynn’s father.
“If they come together as a team I would never underestimate their ability.”
The team has proven national talent in Lynn, who represented Canada at the Curling World Juniors in 2010 and earned the silver medal, as well as Emma Miskew, the assistant coach for the women’s team, who played with team Homan in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
“I’m excited to coach and I’m so happy we’ve finally been added into the OUA,” says Miskew.
Both the men’s and women’s teams will be practicing regularly at the RCC as well as entering local bonspiels.
The OUA championships are in Guelph in mid-February. If successful, the team will advance into the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships in Welland, Ont. in mid-March.
But for now just having a curling team is worth the celebration.
“I’m ecstatic,” says Lynn. “I was so happy to hear that it was finally accepted and I’m really looking forward to the season.”